UnitedHealth Group Inc. kicked off the insurance reporting season by booking earnings from operations of $4.50 billion, up from $3.98 billion in the prior-year quarter. For full year 2018, the company reported earnings from operations of $17.34 billion, up from $15.21 billion in 2017. It also affirmed its 2019 guidance.
Swiss Re AG expects a fourth-quarter 2018 preliminary claims burden from recent natural catastrophes of approximately $1.0 billion, mainly affecting reinsurance, and net of retrocession and before tax. It also expects about $300 million of man-made disaster claims in the quarter.
And Kemper Corp. expects to record pretax catastrophe losses ranging from $25 million to $30 million, net of reinsurance, in the fourth quarter of 2018.
In M&A news, Insurance Australia Group Ltd. is considering selling a stake in its joint venture with State Bank of India, SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd., Mint reported, citing two people directly aware of the development.
Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. will divest its U.K. regional managing general agency, Aspen Risk Management Ltd., according to a report by The Insurance Insider.
China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd.'s pending acquisition of Genworth Financial Inc. received all required U.S. insurance regulatory approvals.
AmWINS Group Inc. reached an agreement in principle to acquire Gainesville, Fla.-based The Flood Insurance Agency for undisclosed terms.
CVS Health Corp. and recently acquired insurer Aetna Inc. are pumping $100 million into U.S. communities over the next five years to offer free health screenings and nonprofit assistance, CVS CEO and Director Larry Merlo said Jan. 14.
American International Group Inc. has given its broker partners an overview of its new North American general insurance structure, which takes effect March 1, The Insurance Insider reported. The Lexington division's core property and casualty business will be written almost entirely through wholesale brokers as AIG shifts the business away from the retail-led drift it had seen recently.
London-based Ed Broking Group Ltd., formerly Cooper Gay, will be sold to BGC Partners at a valuation of between $90 million and $100 million, representing a significant loss for majority owner Lightyear Capital, the Insider said.
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Most health insurers to see EPS, revenues climb YOY in Q4'18: Although the Affordable Care Act will be a topic of discussion on conference calls, a recent court decision ruling it unconstitutional is unlikely to have an impact on the coming earnings season.
Barclays leads from start to finish in '18 insurance common equity league table
J.P. Morgan Securities tops insurance underwriter M&A league table for '18
US pricing probe targets big pharma; US FDA shutdown delays Aimmune's therapy: The U.S. House Oversight Committee opened a pricing investigation targeting a dozen drugmakers; and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put on hold Aimmune Therapeutics' application for its peanut allergy drug due to the government shutdown.
In other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: ANZ buys stake in online loan broker; China raises foreign investors' quota
Europe: MPS shares suspended; Swiss Re sees $1B nat cat claims burden; Tandem eyes IPO
Middle East & Africa: Egypt plots international bond sale in Q1; Zimbabwe to introduce new currency
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 2.02% to 26,830.289, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.96% to 20,555.29.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased 0.022% to 6,856.51 and the Euronext 100 was up 0.42% to 933.19.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
On the macro front
The PPI-FD index, Empire State Mfg Survey and Redbook index are due out today.
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